Applications being accepted for Innovation Square at Dane County Farm Tech Days

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 5:45 pm | Updated: 4:11 pm, Mon Nov 17, 2014.

by Chris Mertes spedit

Applications are now being accepted from farmers, university professors and agricultural companies to display new inventions and technologies at the 2015 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Show in Dane County.

Between a dozen and 15 new technologies will be on display in the new “Innovation Square” in the heart of Tent City at the 2015 show. The WFTD board of directors recently approved a plan to develop the new area after an inquiry from a farmer who had invented a piece of tillage equipment that attaches to a grain cart.

“We know for sure farmers love seeing things that other farmers have built,” WFTD General Manager Matt Glewen said. “What come to mind are machinery-related things, but when you get more imaginative in your thinking, it could be some5399cd172cb21.imagething related to record-keeping or animal genetics or crop protection types of things. There could be a very large spectrum of things that are new technologies in agriculture.”

There will be no limit on the size of the innovations – items could be as large as an attachment on a combine or as small as something that would fit on a table display, Glewen said.

Brian Luck, UW-Extension machinery specialist, and a team of agricultural engineers from other universities will select the innovations to be exhibited based on the impact the technology could have on Wisconsin agriculture and the efficacy of the technology.

A Jan. 15, 2015 deadline has been set to apply to display an innovation at the 2015 show, scheduled for Aug. 25-27 at Statz Brothers Farm near Sun Prairie. There will be no application or exhibition fee.

Applications are available online at Click on “exhibitors” and “Innovation Square Application Form” once on the WFTD website.

For more information, contact Brian Luck at 608-890-1861 or

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Wisonsin crop outlook changes as season continues

Soybean crops are up, corn crops are down

Published On: Nov 10 2014 09:07:34 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 10 2014 09:08:54 PM CST
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – It’s a tale of two crops for Midwest farmers.

The US department of Agriculture says soybean crops are surpassing earlier record-breaking expectations.
Farmers are now expecting the harvest to be almost 4 billion bushels. That’s 31 million bushels more than what was estimated in October.

On the other hand, the corn corp is showing less promise than what was expected. The estimated crop actually dropped about 68 million to a little more than 14 billion bushels.

However, final numbers will be dependent on mother nature.

“Really our drying conditions get less and less as we move into the winter season right now. So how much moisture is going to come off some of that crop is a little dependent on how our weather continues here for the month of November and even to the first part of November,” said UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Steve Huntzicker.

The corn’s yield is not the only thing suffering. The price of corn is also down, making potential problems for farmers.

“It really affects everybody no matter what yield your bringing in and I think some other costs will be a factor this year, one of those being drying as we mentioned just because producers are waiting as long they can to reduce some of that drying costs and not cut into the bottom line,” said Huntzicker.

Huntzicker does say the current crop numbers are similar to numbers around the same time as last year.

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Professor: Schools, libraries pay too much for internet service

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 8:13 a.m. CST
A Dell Latitude D430 laptop computer is seen in New York August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A Dell Latitude D430 laptop computer is seen in New York August 26, 2008. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A U-W Extension professor says most Wisconsin schools and libraries are paying too much, and getting too little for their Internet service. Andy Lewis compared Badger-Net’s service to what 11,000 other school systems around the country are getting. He said Badger-Net institutions pay about the same amount for five-megabits of Internet speed per second as others pay for a-thousand megabits. When federal subsidies are added in, Lewis says taxpayers shell out $2,480 a month for a district’s Badger-Net coverage — almost twice the national average.

Badger-Net covers about 80-percent of Wisconsin schools and libraries in all 72 counties. Service providers take issue. Bill Esbeck of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association says Lewis uses “not-to-exceed” prices in his report, while actual service prices are often much less.

Mark Weiler of Access Wisconsin says prices also vary depending on where fiber-optic cables are laid. Lewis tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he’s not fazed by those arguments — and the published Badger-Net rate should be re-negotiated to a price that’s ten times less to meet the national norms. The state administration department is expected to re-negotiate Badger-Net’s contract next year.

One education official notes that broadband prices have fallen below the current Badger-Net deal — and a Walker administration official agrees there’s room for improvement.

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Wisconsin schools’ broadband costs often high for slow service

A new Willy Street Co-op loan fund supports expansion plans for local food producers

Jason Krause on Wednesday 11/12/2014 11:24 am

Rufus Haucke with his new crops of winter greens, grown in a hoop house constructed with help from a Willy Street Co-op vendor loan.

Rufus Haucke with his new crops of winter greens, grown in a hoop house constructed with help from a Willy Street Co-op vendor loan.

When someone discovers a loophole in investment finance rules, it’s usually bad news for the little guy. But the Willy Street Co-op and some progressive investors think they’ve found an opening that will help small family farms and give average citizens a way to invest in businesses they believe in.

In fact, this new, progressive investment fund is now up and running. The Willy Street Co-op Local Vendor Loan Fund has disbursed the first loans to help local food vendors expand their businesses. And if this first round is successful, the founders hope to open the fund to any owner of the Willy Street Co-op.

No one is exactly sure where the initial inspiration came from, but about three years ago, Slow Money Wisconsin approached the co-op about creating an investment fund. The organizations have similar interests in supporting sustainable, local agriculture. “We had a sense that a lot of local food vendors have a hard time getting financing to help them grow their businesses,” says David Waisman, finance director for the co-op. “So we started to investigate what their needs might be.”

The co-op surveyed its vendors and found a hole in the financial system that makes it hard for small agribusinesses to expand and grow. “The big takeaway from the survey was that vendors needed loans in the $30,000 to $50,000 range,” says Waisman. “Anything smaller, they can finance with credit cards or personal loans from friends or family. Anything bigger is where banks come in.”

The fund has distributed money to three small local farms already. The funding for this initial round comes from Forward Community Investments, with technical assistance from UW Extension. But the ultimate goal is to allow the co-op’s members to invest in the fund, making it possible for any co-op owner to become an investor in local agribusiness.

Normally, average citizens can’t just invest money in an investment fund, because they are not accredited investors. But Tera Johnson, president of Slow Money Wisconsin, explains that “We realized that members of a co-op are owners, so they are not subject to the same restrictions that limit most people from participating in an investment fund.”

The Willy Street Co-op has raised money from its owner/members before, including during a recent bond drive that raised $1 million in 39 days to finance expansion. “We saw a dual opportunity in this project,” says Waisman. “We are continually looking for ways to build our regional food system and suppliers, and our owners are interested in investing in ways that support their values.”

The idea is simple, but hammering out the details has been a long process, spanning almost three years from initial conversation to initial loan disbursement. The fund had to be designed to avoid inordinate risk, but also serve its original purpose of filling in gaps in the financial system.

Organizers believe they have two advantages. First, the fund invests only in products that are sold at the co-op. As the retail outlet for these providers, the co-op believes it knows good products and has a handle on the financial realities facing its suppliers. “We’re not going to cut a check if we know a product really isn’t moving enough to justify an investment,” Waisman says. “The longer a vendor has been with us, the better we can assess the risk.”

Second, the fund offers technical assistance to help ensure the loan funds are used effectively. Johnson, who also serves at the UW-Extension’s Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, is leading this effort. “We want to come in at a point in the vendor’s growth where funding or business assistance is needed to push them to a new but sustainable level,” says Johnson.

The biggest challenge facing the fund is determining how much money to keep in reserve to cover loan losses. “We’re not a bank, and we can’t afford to structure our little fund the same ways a large bank would,” says Johnson. “Stuff happens to businesses, especially in agriculture, so we have to be careful that a single bad loan won’t wipe out the fund.”

The fund also has to be more flexible about repayment terms than a bank. For example, one of the loans will help Healthy Ridge Farm launch organic peach orchards. But the orchards will not produce fruit for several years, meaning the fund has to defer repayment until produce is available.

One of the first loan recipients was Rufus Haucke, owner of Keewaydin Farms, who used the funds to retrofit an unused building on his farm into a packing warehouse, install a cooler, and build hoop houses and a greenhouse to extend the farm’s growing season. The loans make it possible for Keewaydin to grow chard, kale, spinach, cucumbers and other vegetables into the winter months.

For Hauke, the loan isn’t just about business; it’s also personally liberating. Hauke was raised on the 200-acre farm and took it over from his parents when they considered selling it. After years of spending hours a day on the road driving to facilities off site, he can now walk out his front door and get everything he needs done. “It’s kind of beautiful that everyone’s interests line up like this,” he says. “I get to build up my farm, the co-op gets fresh produce. It seems like a perfect deal.”

High-speed Internet accessible across most of Wisconsin due to broadband providers

Article by: Associated Press

Updated: November 12, 2014 – 2:06 PM

MADISON, Wis. — Most Wisconsin residents now have access to high-speed Internet connections thanks to expanded broadband coverage across the state.

Grants from both federal and state agencies, as well as private and public partnerships, have helped at least one broadband provider establish service in most rural areas, according to officials. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is working with residents living in those rural areas to help them understand how to use the technology, Tithi Chattopadhyay, state broadband director, told Wisconsin Public Radio ( ). Efforts include teaching small business owners the economic benefits of creating a website.

“I think they’re moving in the right direction,” Chattopadhyay said. “Of course access is part of the issue, but we’re working on making sure more people adopt the technology and utilize the technology effectively.”

Some small pockets in the western part of the state still don’t have access to broadband providers. Although statewide broadband coverage is the ultimate goal, Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association Executive Director Bill Esbeck said there are limitations.

“The population densities and topographies of some areas of the state may make it very difficult for the business case to make sense for a wired product,” Esbeck said.

Local leaders are sometimes able to help Internet providers establish service through a change in existing regulations, according to Maria Alvarez-Stroud, director of the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Broadband and E-Commerce Education Center.

“This is the electricity of the times,” she said. “Communities are already struggling in very rural areas. If they don’t have the broadband they need, how are they going to convince their kids to stick around?”

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Corn crop harvest slowed by snowfall

WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports
Posted: Nov 12, 2014 9:12 PM CST Updated: Nov 12, 2014 9:18 PM CST
By Caroline Hecker, Multi-Media Journalist

Watch Video:

Nearly 40% of the corn crop in Wisconsin has yet to be harvested, a number than can be partially blamed on inclement weather.

Last weekend’s snowfall is delaying farmers from harvesting their corn crop, adding to the already high levels of moisture in the ground.

“While it wasn’t a lot of snow, it’s a setback, because producers are going to continue to wait for the crop to dry,” Steve Huntzicker, an agriculture agent for UW extension, said.

Many farmers got a head start last Friday, harvesting all weekend in hopes of beating the snowstorm.

“When you hear wet, heavy snow coming, that’s when you get the possibility of the crop being knocked over,” John Mislivecek, manager of Chaseburg Co-op, said.

Given the terrain in the area, Mislivecek said harvesting the corn on hills was a high priority for most farmers.

“Once the ground freezes, putting a combine up on those hillsides and you start sliding, there’s no stopping you,” he said. “So most farmers around here aimed to get that corn harvested first and then go back to the rows on flat ground.”

A major reason farmers are waiting to harvest corn this season is due to the high moisture levels in the ground.

The goal is to dry the corn out naturally, rather than air-drying it once it’s been harvested and is in storage.

“The price of corn is low and it’s expensive to have it dried once it’s in storage,” Mislivecek said. “But there are risks to leaving it out there, like weather, wildlife, and probably most importantly, standability.”

Huntzicker said corn prices shouldn’t increase because of the delay and that farmers are in a similar situation to this time last year.

“Farmers were still able to get a successful harvest last year, which I think can still happen yet this harvest season,” he said.
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Farmers struggle to harvest after big snowstorm

Posted: Nov 12, 2014 10:54 PM CST Updated: Nov 12, 2014 10:54 PM CST

By Greg Jeschke

Winter Farmers Markets

Friends and fresh food on a Saturday morning

By John Reisseatdrink_winterfarmersmarkets.wideaWednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

When the Wisconsin weather turns cold and you long for those warm summer days at your favorite farmers market, the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market (MCWFM) is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Thanks to the lush environment of the Mitchell Park Domes, the market is the perfect place to do your weekly food shopping while chatting with vendors or catching up with friends. According to Deb Deacon, MCWFM coordinator, the social aspect of famers and consumers interacting makes the market a “vibrant gathering place” for foodies, chefs and families alike.

Since its inception in 2009, the market’s popularity has grown exponentially with both visitors and vendors. Its success can be measured by the crowd patiently waiting for the doors to open in the morning with their shopping totes in hand. Inside, vendors are spread throughout the lobby and into the main show dome. Although the market can be hectic, the farmers and producers are always eager to talk about their products and the passion they convey is infectious. Whether it is the grass-fed beef from Tammera and Brandon Dykema of Dominion Farms, or the fresh natural produce from husband and wife Sandy Raduenz and David Kozlowski at Pinehold Gardens, you soon realize that this is often a family affair.

Deacon says that farmers and vendors initially were skeptical of the winter market’s appeal, but the MCWFM now boasts more than 50 vendors, some regular and others that rotate throughout the season. Many of the products you find at summer markets are available here, including pastured meats and poultry, farmed fish, organic eggs, dairy and cheeses, plus specialty food products, including fresh pasta, bottled jams and sauces, pastries and bread, and even chocolates.

If you are looking for locally sourced produce and wondering what can be had in the dead of winter, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Stored products including onions, garlic, squash, potatoes, apples and sweet potatoes are found almost year round. Green vegetables are a little scarce as the deep freeze sets in; however, many farmers now employ hoop houses to extend their growing season. Michelle Cannon of LarryVille Gardens in Burlington is planting winter harvests of spinach, carrots, lettuce, kale, leeks and radishes. According to David Koslowski of UW Extension Waukesha, “The limiting factor in cool-season greenhouse growing is not heat but light”; when the daylight grows short, plants don’t grow as quickly. The confined growing space of hoop houses also limits supplies, so there are often gaps in the winter growing season.

Winter farmers markets are an emerging trend across the country and Wisconsin is no exception. They provide revenue for farmers and producers in typically slow periods of the year. Koslowski estimates there are now about 25 markets statewide, including locations in Madison, Kenosha, Port Washington and Oconomowoc. Here’s a partial list of Milwaukee area markets open for the winter season.


Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market


Days and hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Nov. 1-April 11, 2015 (No markets on Nov. 29 and Dec. 27)

Location: Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (“The Domes”), 524 South Layton Blvd.

Growing Power Winter Farmers Market


Days and hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., Nov. 15-April 25, 2015 (No markets on Nov. 29, Dec. 27, Jan. 10, 2015, Feb. 21, 2015, March 21, 2015 and April 18, 2015)

Location: Growing Power’s Production Warehouse, 13111 W. Silver Spring Drive, Butler

MPTV (Milwaukee Public Television) Fall Farmers Market


Days and hours: Third Saturday of the month, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., November-February 2015

Location: MPTV Auction Studio, 12560 W. Townsend St., Brookfield

Riverwest Winter Farmers Market


Days and hours: Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., November-May, 2015

Location: Riverwest Public House Cooperative, 815 E. Locust St.

St. Ann Center Indoor Market


Days and hours: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., November-April 2015

Location: St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2801 E. Morgan Ave.

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Seven Sickened By Tainted Wells

County forms manure study group

November 14, 2014

A young family visiting Door County for a weekend in mid-September were the subject of a public health investigation when they returned to their Calumet County home and their four-month-old daughter came down with an illness that was identified as E. coli bacteria from a bovine source.

“The department of health got involved. They asked me where I was. That was several phone calls, to try to narrow it down,” said the infant’s mother (she asked that we not use their names).

It turns out the family had stayed that weekend at a West Jacksonport home now identified as in the area of concern for well contamination after a Sept. 8 manure spreading session that included spreading into a sinkhole. This was the Monday after torrential rains wreaked havoc and saturated the landscape.

“I used well water to make her bottles,” she said. “No odor or color to the water. There was no sign.”

And there was no sign in the baby that she was ill until the family returned to their Calumet County home. Then she started exhibiting signs of food poisoning and was brought in for a medical examination, where it was determined that she was infected with E. coli.

“The department of health nurse said since the E. coli was combined with a campylobacter bacteria, that’s really indicative of a bovine source. They were able to track it to the source based on the type of bacteria in the water.”

The mother said she does not understand why manure spreading is not more regulated.

“Especially with the fractured bedrock and shallow soil. It doesn’t take much for it to get in the groundwater.”

Reporting on the West Jacksonport well contamination at the Nov. 10 meeting of the Door County Board of Health, Door County Health Officer Rhonda Kolberg said drinking manure-contaminated well water in the area of concern after Sept. 8 sickened a total of seven people.

“They were spreading as they normally would. They spread into a sinkhole, which they should not have done,” Kolberg said. “We found out about it because the people with the affected well called DNR, and their water was brown and foamy.”

Mark Borchardt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist who helped track down the 2007 source of contamination at The Log Den when 211 customers and 18 employees were struck with gastro-intestinal illness from norovirus at the recently opened restaurant (the outbreak was eventually traced to the restaurant’s new septic system), did the viral testing of the West Jacksonport wells.

“He was trying to find a correlation between manure and the water,” Kolberg said. “He did determine it was bovine contamination.”

Kolberg said Borchardt will be doing more research in Door and Kewaunee counties. “He’s a very good scientist and one of the top people in this,” she said.

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh geology professor Maureen Muldoon said she and Borchardt are working on a grant application to study viral contamination in Door and Kewaunee counties.

“We know if it’s less than 10 feet to bedrock and you spread manure, it’s going to go into the aquifer, we know that,” she said.

Muldoon was also part of the karst task force, which released a report in 2007 warning about groundwater contamination if the standards were not raised.

Muldoon said there was a lot of activity and media coverage when the report was issued, and it had an effect among the converted in county conservation departments and industry experts, but nothing really happened legislatively and it “died on the vine.”

Kevin Erb, Conservation Professional Development and Training Coordinator for UW-Extension, served a lead role on the karst task force. He said both Brown and Calumet counties actually did take up some practices outlined by the task force.

“There have been some significant changes that have occurred, but a lot of recommendations that were not implemented,” he said. “But, overall, progress has been made.”

Unfortunately, he said, it often takes a contamination incident to wake people up to the reality of the fragile situation.

At the recent Board of Health meeting, Kolberg announced that Door County has formed a manure study group, which held its first meeting on Nov. 5.

“We looked at the goal, to address groundwater quality and health issues related to manure spreading in Door County,” she said.

The task force wants to make the issue of too much manure on a karst landscape one of the top issues for the biennial Door-Kewaunee Legislative Days, when a group is tasked to meet with lawmakers in Madison to impress the importance of Door-Kewaunee issues on them.

Kolberg said this was attempted in the past, to ask the state to forget the one-size-fits-all agricultural rules and recognize that different parts of the state have different challenges, and that this region should be designated a karst area, with special provisions related specifically to that fragile environment.

“It would allow us to have different regulations based on our geology,” she said.

“I hope there is a sense of urgency about this thing, because we are a unique and separate environment up here,” said committee member and county board supervisor Mark Moeller.

“It’s a political issue and it needs support from the county board,” said committee member and county board supervisor Roy Engelbert.

Kolberg pointed out that public health is all about gaining knowledge. “Things that were once acceptable become unacceptable,” she said.

 DNR Well Funds Available

A Nov. 7 letter from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to “Affected Residents” of the early September manure-spreading incident in West Jacksonport designates a “Special Area of Well Compensation Eligibility.”

“The area is based on confirmation that existing wells were found to contain bovine bacteria and E. Coli in samples collected September 15th and 24th, 2014, indicating grazing animal contamination,” the letter states.

It goes on to let residents know they “may be eligible for financial assistance from the DNR for the purpose of installing a new replacement well and permanently abandoning (filling & sealing) their existing contaminated well.”

The basic eligibility?

Your family income for the previous year was $65,000 or less.

The letter goes on to state, “By law, the total grant award may not exceed $9,000, unless your income is below the median family income for your county, in which case you may be eligible for an additional grant through the DNR’s NR 738 Hardship funding program.”

A similar letter went out to Wisconsin licensed well drillers.

Contamination Vulnerability

• Less than 5 feet to carbonate bedrock, and/or closed depressions or any drainage areas that contribute water to sinkholes/bedrock openings – extreme vulnerability to contamination.

• 5-15 feet to carbonate bedrock – high vulnerability.

• 15-50 feet to carbonate bedrock – significant vulnerability.

• Greater than 50 feet to carbonate bedrock – moderate vulnerability.

Source: 2007 Karst Task Force report

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UW-Extension educates citizens on county governments

Jared Raney, Reporter
Friday, November 14, 2014 4:00 PM
UW Extension agent Tim Brown talks to the group about county government. About twenty people attended this program, the first of its kind in Oneida County.

UW Extension agent Tim Brown talks to the group about county government. About twenty people attended this program, the first of its kind in Oneida County.

On Wednesday, two representatives from the UW-Extension led a session in an effort to inform the public about the ways of county government.
The representatives were Lynn Feldman, with UW-Extension youth development, and Tim Brown, UW-Extension economic development.
The session covered the basic aspects, what Brown and Feldman think every citizen should know about county government.
Feldman began the session with a fundamental question: What county district are you in? Many attendees were unsure. The duo went on to discuss the districts—what they are, what they’re for and how to find out which district you belong to.
Conversation then turned to supervisors. Again, what they do and the role they play in county government. There are 21 different supervisors, and attendees were encouraged to be aware of who their supervisor was, and to contact them with any questions or concerns.
Brown emphasized that the supervisors are volunteers—they receive per diem stipends, but they are not paid politicians. They are donating their time and energy to the people of the county.
Later, Brown and Feldman went into the makeup of county government. Feldman said that between limited-term employees and regular full-time employees, the county employs over 400 people annually. These 400 workers are broken up into approximately 25 different branches of government, from forestry and highway to public health and social services.
At the end of the session, the highlight of the learning experience was a simulated county board meeting, with attendees playing the roles of supervisors and concerned citizens. They ran through a fictional board agenda that mirrored the agenda of the budget meeting that would take place later that night.
Agendas for the real board meetings must be posted 24 hours in advance, and the board is not allowed to discuss items not listed on the publicly released agenda, the session leaders said.
Around 20 people attended, including a few supervisors, who were able to answer questions directly. Supervisors Carol Pederson, Scott Holewinski and Ted Cushing were the supervisors in attendance.
“I was very impressed with the turnout, I thought that was wonderful. The questions were great, it was great to have supervisors here who could answer questions. I’m not an expert,” Feldman said. “I think I learned a lot in the process.”
After the session was the annual budget meeting, and those at the session were encouraged to attend. The UW-Extension workers said the county had a $50.5 million budget for 2015, which would be decided in the night’s agenda.
“I thought they did a fine job,” said Supervisor Pederson.  “The encouragement to take part, whether you’re experienced or knowledgeable or not—if it’s an issue that is important to you, you should feel free to come and speak with me.”
Both Extension workers said there is potential for more citizen training in the future. Feldman said she had spoken to several students and teachers who were unable to attend, but would like the education.
“If we hear people saying they want more of this we’ll certainly give it a try,” Brown said. “We only want to do things that are wanted and that are necessary and that are having an impact, so if this seems to have made some positive impressions we’ll probably look at doing more.”

– See more at:

Land purchased for CAFO

560.6 acres in Town of Eileen

Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 10:00 am

A proposal to establish a large-scale Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in the Town of Eileen in Bayfield County is one step closer to being a reality now that Reicks View Family Farm LLC has officially purchased approximately 560.6 acres in the Town of Eileen for $1,237,500.

According to the Bayfield County Register of Deeds, the deal between Reicks View Family Farm LLC and two private landowners closed on Oct. 16.

Reicks View Family Farm LLC currently owns and operates a large-scale swine CAFO in Lawler, Iowa, and is looking to open a similar large-scale swine farrowing CAFO on the property purchased in Eileen.

The landowner has been in contact with the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources about the application process.

Wastewater Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Doug Casina said there are a number of permits that must be completed before the CAFO can become operational.

However, Casina has not yet received a preliminary Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System application from Reicks View Family Farm LLC, which is one of the first steps to becoming a properly certified CAFO in the state of Wisconsin.

“The larger facilities are more regulated than say a medium or smaller sized CAFO,” Casina said.

In addition to the proposed swine CAFO, several dairy operations in Bayfield County are looking to become sanctioned CAFO’s.

“CAFO numbers are growing and they are growing statewide due to a number of factors,” Casina said. “Land competition, available land base, prices and the hog industry has density considerations. So, even though land base is limited in the north, there is an encroachment into several of the northern counties.”

According to Dairy and Livestock Agent and State Swine Specialist for the UW-Extension Zen Miller, there are not currently any large-scale CAFO’s in Ashland or Bayfield Counties.

Q and A: Ag equipment on the roads

Alyssa Bloechl, Kewaunee County Star-News 1:31 p.m. CST November 14, 2014kew0830tractor

Due to passage of Wisconsin Act 377, agricultural machinery operators and the general public are expected to become educated on the new aspects of operating while on the roads. On Nov. 5 and 6, Kewaunee County farmers, town leaders and members of the public were invited to attend informational meetings presented by UW-Extension, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau and the Wisconsin State Patrol about the new rules.

Motivation for the new law comes from two areas, allowing farmers to do their work safely and to protect the infrastructure of roads.

During the sessions, questions about lighting, right of way and permitting among others were presented from the public.

1. Who has the right of way when operating equipment that that crosses over the center line?

• Operators are allowed to cross the center line and extend into passing lanes on three-lane highways, but operators must yield half of the roadway to an oncoming vehicle.

• Operators must also not drive on the left hand side of the roadway on a grade or curve area designated as a no-passing zone if it creates a hazard to oncoming traffic.

• Operators must not intentionally drive slowly so as to impede normal movement of traffic (oncoming and from the rear). They must pull over to the side of the road, when it is safe, if traffic is backed up.

2. Can traffic pass slow moving agricultural equipment in a no-passing zone?

No. With the changes in Act 377, vehicles can no longer pass ag equipment in a no-passing zone. However, vehicles may continue to pass horse-drawn buggies and bicycles traveling less than half of the posted speed in a no-passing zone.

3. What classifies an Ag Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) compared to a non-ag CMV? (All of the following must apply.)

• A CMV that was substantially designed, equipped or altered from original construction for the purpose of ag use.

• Designed primarily for highway use.

• Meets federal requirements 49 CFR 567.

• Used exclusively for ag operations.

• Is directly engaged in harvesting farm products, directly applies fertilizer, spray or seeds to a farm field or distributes feed to livestock.

4. Do Ag CMVs require a CDL license to drive and operate?

• No, depending on who is driving.

• If a farmer, family member of the farmer or farm employee, is operating their own ag CMV for their farm’s production, a CDL is not needed. However, a Class D driver’s license is required.

• If a farmer who is operating their ag CMV for custom work on another farmer’s operation, a CDL license is required.

• If a farmer travels more than 150 miles away from the home farm (including over state lines), a CDL license is required.

• All custom operators require a CDL license.

5. Are there new size dimensions applied to Implements of Husbandry (IoH) and Ag CMVs?

• Yes. Specifications can be found online at

• The State Patrol will issues warnings, not citations, for farm tractors and Category B IoH vehicles over the new weight limits until Jan. 15, 2015. This does not apply in other states or other law enforcement with authority to enforce regulations.

6. Can IoH and Ag CMVs exceed the new size limits?

• Yes, only if the operator has filed and been authorized a no-fee permit from the road authority where they wish to operate.

• Local road authorities will have to decide how they plan to govern IoH and Ag CMV operation on their roads by Jan. 15, 2015.

• Depending on where operators plan to drive vehicles exceeding limits, they may have to file for permits from multiple authorities including municipality, town, county and state. (Kewaunee County roads will take no special action to change road specifications from what the law states.)

• Equipment cannot travel over bridges that is heavier than posted limit.

No-fee permit information can be found at

7. Are there new lighting and marking requirements for IoH?

• Yes. New lighting and marking must be implemented by Nov. 1, 2015, on IoH wider than 15 feet or that extend over the center line. Specifics are online at

• IoH wider than 22 feet must have an escort vehicle.

• Ag trains (three vehicle combinations) are now required to have one red or amber light, one red or amber reflector and one slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblem on each vehicle of the train.

For more information about the specifics of Act 377 can be found online at Questions can be fielded to or to the State Highway Permit Department at (608) 266-7320.

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Nothing in U.S. matches the tale — or the rack — of the Jordan Buck

The wintry day started out with promise for 22-year-old Jim Jordan of Danbury. A century later, it’s legendary.

Hunting over fresh snow on the morning of Nov. 20, 1914, south of Danbury in Burnett

Submitted photo The 10-point white-tailed deer shot Nov. 20, 1914, by Jim Jordan in Danbury, Wis. The buck measured 2061/8 inches, a world record until 1993, and still a U.S. record.

Submitted photo
The 10-point white-tailed deer shot Nov. 20, 1914, by Jim Jordan in Danbury, Wis. The buck measured 2061/8 inches, a world record until 1993, and still a U.S. record.

County, Jordan and his friend Egus Davis cut several deer tracks, including the prints of what looked to be a very large buck.

The pair followed the tracks through brush near a railroad line until a group of deer jumped up. Davis shot a doe, securing highly sought venison.

But a heavy-racked deer was among those that galloped away. Jordan set his sights on the big buck and continued his hunt along the tracks.

His quest for, subsequent kill and later loss and recovery of the massive 10-pointer formed one of North America’s greatest deer stories.

“The tale is as large as the antlers,” said Mike Kornmann, Burnett County community resource agent for the University of Wisconsin Extension.

The deer, known as the Jordan Buck, measures 2061/8 inches under the Boone and Crockett scoring system.

It was the world-record typical whitetail until 1993, when a buck shot by Milo Hanson in Saskatchewan bested it.

The Jordan Buck remains the largest typical whitetail ever taken in the U.S., according to Boone and Crockett records.

This year, the centennial of Jordan’s hunt, has brought the buck and its story back into the limelight.

Several events commemorating the buck have been held in Burnett County.

Songs have been written about the buck. Tourists and others can relive the hunt on marked segments of the Gandy Dancer Trail near Danbury.

And on Thursday, the 100th anniversary of the hunt, Wisconsin will officially observe “James Jordan Buck Day.”

It’s an honor that took an incredibly elusive path. In fact, the buck was lost twice, once for many years.

The details of the story were provided in interviews over the years with Jordan and Davis. Jordan died in 1978 at age 86.

While Davis gutted the doe, Jordan followed the tracks north on a line paralleling the railroad tracks and heading toward Danbury.

As the tracks neared the Yellow River, Jordan paused to look for deer. At that moment, Jordan said an approaching train blew its whistle. Several deer then stood up in grass about 50 yards away and took off running.

Jordan set the sights of his Winchester Model 1892 on the big buck, firing three times and emptying the rifle. He believed he hit the deer but it kept running.

Jordan later said he furiously searched his pockets, believing he was out of cartridges. He found one and reloaded.

A bit north along the trail Jordan found blood and followed it to the water’s edge. Seconds later he saw the buck crossing the river. As it climbed the opposite shore, Jordan fired his last bullet, downing the buck.

The young hunter was so excited that he waded across the cold river and looked at the buck. He’d need assistance to move the massive animal, he knew, and left it as he walked to Danbury to get help.

After a change of clothes, Jordan, Davis and two of Davis’ sons returned to the site with a horse. But the buck was gone.

Jordan said it must have slid down the bank into the river. The men searched the river and found the buck hung up on a boulder about 200 yards downstream.

The buck was taken to town and drew a crowd. One of the onlookers, George Van Castle of Webster, offered to mount the buck for $5. Jordan agreed, paid the fee in advance and Van Castle left with the head.

It would be the last time Jordan would see the rack for 50 years.

In the months after taking possession of the antlers, Van Castle moved near Hinckley, Minn., about 20 miles west of Danbury.

It’s not known if Van Castle attempted to notify Jordan of the delays in mounting or change in address. Jordan said he traveled to Webster in early 1915 to check on the status of the mount. To his surprise, the rack and Van Castle were gone.

Van Castle later moved to Florida, leaving his Minnesota house vacant for 40 years with Jordan’s rack inside.

The record antlers collected dust until 1959, when Van Castle’s house was purchased. Items found in the house were sent to be sold at a secondhand store in Sandstone, Minn.

As fate would have it, the rack was noticed by Bob Ludwig, Jordan’s nephew. Ludwig bought the mount for $2.

Ludwig knew the rack was big. But how big? He measured it and came up with a score that would make it a world record under the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system. The measurement was confirmed by an experienced scorer.

A subsequent Boone and Crockett panel made it official: at 2061/8 inches, the buck was the top typical whitetail in the world.

Ludwig told friends and relatives about the news and began to show off the rack. When Jordan saw it, he exclaimed: “That’s my deer!”

Although Jordan had told the story of his massive buck many times over the years, Ludwig was skeptical.

The buck was listed in 1965 as the top whitetail by Boone and Crockett. It was recorded as taken by an unknown hunter near Sandstone, Minn.

The story remained unresolved until 1977, when Ron Schara, then outdoors writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, traveled to Danbury to hear Jordan’s claim about the buck.

Schara’s column about his meeting with Jordan caused Boone and Crockett officials to investigate further. They were convinced and in December 1978 the group’s records committee officially declared Jordan as the hunter who killed the world-record whitetail.

Significantly, the place of kill also was corrected to Wisconsin.

Sadly, Jordan died two months before the records committee ruled.

The original rack of the Jordan Buck is now owned by and on display at Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield, Mo. Replica mounts are found at several sites in Wisconsin, including Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area in Grantsburg and Cabela’s stores in Green Bay and Richfield.

The Jordan Buck stood as the world-record typical until Hanson’s Saskatchewan whitetail topped it.

When it comes to size and quality of story, the Jordan Buck may never be surpassed.

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About Paul A. Smith Paul A. Smith covers outdoors and conservation issues. Twitter: @mjsps Email: Phone: 414-224-2313

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Poinsettias need darkness to rebloom

Published November 5

By Barb Larsonpoinsettia

Question: I have a potted poinsettia left over from last Christmas. The plant looks very healthy and has lots of new growth. How can I get it to bloom this year? — N.R.

Answer: Poinsettias are the most challenging of the traditional holiday plants to re-bloom, but it can be done.

Poinsettias must have more than 12 hours of continuous darkness in a 24-hour period to initiate development of flower buds. In horticulture, poinsettias, chrysanthemums and some (but not all) other fall or winter blooming plants are termed ?short-day? plants because night length must exceed day length to set flowers.

Beginning immediately, cover the plant with a light-tight box from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. every night until colored bracts begin to show in mid-December. The plant must be uncovered during the day.

Alternatively, you can put your poinsettia in a closet every night and take it out each morning. The slightest bit of light exposure during the nocturnal dark period for the next six to eight weeks can prevent flower formation. The long night treatment can be discontinued after the colored bracts develop.

During the day keep your poinsettia in a bright, sunny window. Poinsettias require day and night temperatures between 60 to 70 degrees. Night temperatures above 70 degrees. will reduce or prevent flowering. Fertilize your poinsettias with a houseplant fertilizer every two weeks.

Another short-day plant associated with the holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas cactuses. These succulents require cool night temperatures and/or long nights to initiate flower buds.

Long nights aren?t required if the cactus is located where the night temperature is 55 to 60 degrees. During the day temperatures of 60-65 degrees and bright sun are ideal. Under these conditions holiday cactuses will bloom in five to six weeks.

If nighttime temperature is 60 to 65 degrees, holiday cactuses need four to six weeks of the same long night treatment as described for poinsettias.

Night temperatures above 65 degrees usually prohibit flowering of holiday cactuses regardless of night length.

Holiday cactuses tend to drop flower buds when moved from a cool to a warmer location, so keep the room temperature around 68 degrees and the light bright during the day.

After your holiday cactus forms flower buds and begins blooming, reduce watering and do not fertilize.

— Barb Larson is horticulture educator for Kenosha County University of Wisconsin Extension. She holds a master’s of science in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you have a plant or gardening question, email her at or call her at 262-857-1942.

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